This past Sunday was one of those moments when something magical and mysterious happens. The Christmas season makes it happen I believe, the hearts of people encounter the Heart of God and wonder covers us all. The small chapel was filled, a nice treat for a festive day, with a cozy mix of regulars, family and wide-eyed first timers. Our gathering was a Christmas celebration consisting of a worship dance by the young ladies of our church, their youthful expressions of joy deepening wonder in all our hearts. We followed with the carols of the season, the congregation joining voices together in worship… singing “glory to the newborn King” as if we were actually there in a lowly stable watching the story unfold. Each chorus, crystallizing the miracle of new birth in our spirits… yes, something special was in the air.
One of our elders gave a message of hope about our Wonderful Counselor and the power in that title our Lord carries. The message led us to share Communion together; a pause to remember what Jesus came to give away for us. After sharing the Lord’s Table, we closed our gathering with a chorus of Silent Night.
As the service ended I thought about all the wonderful God moments to look back on. It was in the post celebration haze that my wife told me that God was working His wonder on us before the service had begun.
God showed Himself during the excited meet and greet mosh pit of friendly handshakes and hugs that filled our aisles as people were ushered in the sanctuary. In that crowd we saw that some of our neighbors decided to come, prodded on by the friendship between my youngest daughter and theirs, who urged them all to come and see “Becky’s dance”.
Her younger brother came with a different agenda; he came with a wonderful mission to give something away. As my wife greeted him, he held out his small hand and offered a chocolate from his treasure of three to her.
“I bought these in case someone felt stressed.” He said, his eyes displaying the conviction of his quest.That small gift, which my wife gladly received, was an expression of a heart that came to give. That is the miracle of Christmas, that we understand the blessing we have received and we go on mission to deliver a message of “good tidings of great joy”…and yes, that rescues us from the stress of sin.
Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD your God which he has given you.God has made giving possible, He so loved…He gave! The blessing of His live through us gives us all “give away” power. My little neighbor came prepared to give…that’s how I want to live my life.
Merry Christmas Everyone!